He built his first tattoo machine at age 14, tattooing on himself and his friends in a tiny tattoo shop in his bedroom closet. Fast forward and decades later, Bill Hill – more often known as “Wild Bill – has a thriving tattoo shop in Roseville and has for years. Know what else he’s done for years? Wild Bill and his artists have shared their their talent for the benefit of kids at UC Davis Children’s Hospital!
A tattoo parlor involved in community philanthropy? You bet! Wild Bill’s Tattoo-a-thon has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Wild Bill’s Tattoos is in its 19th year, hosting the annual event Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 7 a.m. to midnight. The shop is located at 205 Vernon Street in Roseville. All proceeds – even tips! – will go to UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
The event attracts people from all over the area in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at UC Davis. Many who get “inked” are family members and friends who have experienced firsthand the amazing care provided at UC Davis Children’s. Wild Bill invites you to come and join the fun! If you decide to get a tattoo, think ahead of time about what you want, where you want it and what size it will be. Call (916) 783-9090 for an appointment and read more about Wild Bill and his passion for helping kids.
Q: How long have you been involved with Children’s Miracle Network at UC Davis? What has your involvement looked like over time?
WB: This is our 19th Annual Tattoo-a-thon so we’re coming up on two decades! Year after year, it has been a successful event and it has grown a lot. I started with 10 tattoo artists donating their time and talent and now we have 25 who participate. I’m just the ringleader. The credit goes to a slew of volunteers and artists who spend a lot of time planning and staffing the event. They work so hard. I am really proud of my friends in the industry.
Q: There are so many good causes. Why did you choose to support UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
WB: Nothing matters more than children. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be for the parent of a sick child. I want to do everything I can to help.
Q: What is your favorite memory while supporting UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
WB: Every year, patient families come to the shop for the Tattoo-a-thon. They have often been at the hospital for weeks or have previously spent time there. If they’re new to having a sick child, they’re stressed and telling their heart-wrenching stories helps. Plus, when they’re here, there’s a sense of community that makes them feel comfortable, as if they are among friends. Many come back year after year and those hard times fade and the positives that came from their time at UC Davis Children’s Hospital become the focus.
Q: How has being involved with UC Davis Children’s Hospital changed your life? Your family’s life?
WB: UC Davis Children’s Hospital does amazing things for local kids. When I take my donation check by every year, I walk down the halls and past the kids’ rooms. There are wires and tubes and it is stressful for everyone involved. I feel so glad we can help. It’s especially gratifying when I get a text or message from a family staying the room on the PICU named after our artists. Plus, I rarely go anywhere without someone saying “thank you” for all our efforts over the years.
Q: What motivates you as a volunteer?
WB: Watching the kids get better and grow up!
Q: What do you think about every time you volunteer for UC Davis Children’s Hospital?
WB: How many kids and families we have helped over the years through this Tattoo-a-thon event. Artists come from out of town to help. Vendors donate supplies. It’s a long day (7 a.m.-midnight), but it’s worth it despite the physical toll it takes on your body. People don’t realize how much it hurts your back, hands and eyes to work that many hours straight. But it’s worth every minute.
Q: What do you think is the most important thing people don’t know about this hospital?
WB: I don’t think people know about how much research takes place at UC Davis Children’s Hospital or how much equipment costs. When I toured the hospital last time, I saw a special gurney strapped with highly specialized equipment. I can’t imagine how much that cost! What we do is just a drop in the bucket, but we’re happy to help and glad to know it makes a difference.
Q: What would you say to people about why they should invest in the health of children’s hospitals?
WB: Giving back feels good. It’s something you’ll enjoy doing. I do it for the kids and the community. It’s my one big gesture each year that brings people together to do some good by getting some meaningful and memorable artwork.